Bangalore is Bombed

Last Updated Jul 25, 2008 1:35 PM EDT

A park in BangaloreI wish the headline was an attempt to be clever, but it's not. A series of low-powered and synchronized bombs went off during the Indian high tech capitol's lunch hour, killing two so far and leaving a dozen others injured. (There's some dispute in reports as to whether there were eight or nine bombs.)
In a grim reminder of the terror attack at the Indian Institute of Sciences here in December 2005, crude bombs concealed near refugee camps, a drain and a bus shelter stuffed with nuts and bolts, exploded between 1.30 pm and 1.45 pm at Adugodi, Madivala, Nayandahalli, Mysore Road, Richmond Circle, Pantharapalya and Vittal Mallya Road. One explosion occured [sic] later in the evening.
Police are blaming the actions on " anti-national and anti-social elements" who were trying to create a state of terror and who, by a number of reports, succeeded. Although hardly a normal part of life in the country, such attacks are not unknown:
India has suffered a wave of bombings in recent years, with targets ranging from mosques and Hindu temples to trains. It is unusual for any group to claim responsibility for attacks. Islamist militant groups in Pakistan and Bangladesh intent on fanning hatred between Muslims and Hindus in India, and damaging a fragile peace process between New Delhi and Islamabad, are often blamed.
No one normally wants to think about business at such times, you have to. Although often called India's "Silicon Valley," Bangalore has even more impact. In addition to R&D, the city also provides mammoth amounts of outsourcing operations. It doesn't appear that any of the technology businesses had to shut down, but it has given them pause to consider how they operate and conduct security:
Mohandas Pai, chief financial officer of Infosys, said the Bangalore attack highlighted the need for greater investment in policing, including electronic surveillance. "It's a wake-up call," Mr Pai told an Indian television channel. Other local executives echoed his call. Bangalore was shocked in 2005, when a Kalashnikov-armed militant opened fire at the Indian Institute of Science, killing one retired professor and injuring four others. That attack was blamed on Islamist militants fighting for independence for the Himalayan state of Kashmir.
The event should also jar U.S. high tech companies into reconsidering how they think about security and business continuity. In a global economy you have, by definition, a risk chain, just as you would have a supply chain. A weakness at any link is a weakness of the entire chain.

Exit door image via Flickr user Sajith T S, CC 2.0

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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.